National/International

Not everybody's heard about the bird.

That's the case even with some well-known events in history. According to Ray Brown, who hosts the radio show and podcast Talkin' Birds, birds — or more accurately, birdwatchers — have had prominent roles in a few cases of espionage, murder and intrigue.

Brown talked with NPR's Scott Simon about these ornithological curiosities.

Interview Highlights

On a busy Taipei street corner, students in tribal tunics, bare feet and temporary facial tattoos are taking part in an impromptu ceremony.

The students, aboriginals at National Taiwan University, line up and shout out their names and the names of their tribes. Recounting their hardships, some of them weep.

For a long time, says a woman named Yayut, she concealed her identity as an aborigine. "When people heard I was an aborigine, they said, 'You don't look like one,'" she says, sobbing.

Yayut's classmates cry and cheer her on.

The Consequences Of The Brexit Referendum

Jun 11, 2016

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Maybe it's a dive trip to Belize. Or a cruise in the Caribbean. Or maybe you've snagged tickets to the summer Olympics in Rio. If you're traveling in places where Zika is circulating, there are a few things you need to keep in mind — and bring along.

The first question is: Should you go on the trip at all?

Writer Annie Proulx won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Shipping News, and her short story "Brokeback Mountain" became a Hollywood blockbuster — but her new novel is her most ambitious work yet. It's called Barkskins, and to say it's about deforestation undersells the book's drama, blood and epic sweep.

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During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military did an about-face on detecting and treating brain injuries caused by explosions. After years of routinely sending blast-exposed troops back into combat, the military implemented a system that requires screening and treatment for traumatic brain injury.

The change came about in large part because of a remarkable campaign by an elite team of military officers who were also doctors and scientists. They worked for the highest-ranking officer in the armed forces. And they were known simply as the Gray Team.

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The Life Of Muhammad Ali, In His Own Words

Jun 10, 2016

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The luminous glow of light pollution prevents nearly 80 percent of people in North America from seeing the Milky Way in the night sky.

That's according to a new atlas of artificial night sky brightness that found our home galaxy is now hidden from more than one-third of humanity.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

The first time Ray Tamasi got hit up by an investor, it was kind of out of the blue.

"This guy called me up," says Tamasi, president of Gosnold on Cape Cod, an addiction treatment center with seven sites in Massachusetts.

"The guy" represented a group of investors; Tamasi declines to say whom. But they were looking to buy addiction treatment centers like Gosnold.

In Maracuyeah's DJ Sets, A Home Away From Home

Jun 10, 2016

Maracuyá means "passion fruit" in Spanish. For the DJ collective Maracuyeah, it's all about a passion for music — and connection.

At the D.C.-based group's fifth anniversary party, the dance floor at Judy's Bar & Restaurant is packed with a diverse crowd, from punk artists to recently arrived immigrants and buttoned-down, office types. Nohora Arrieta Fernandez, a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University who identifies as Afro-Colombian, says there's something for everyone here.

Sharon Belvin's nightmare with cancer began in 2004, when she was just 22.

Belvin was an avid runner but said she suddenly found she couldn't climb the stairs without "a lot of difficulty breathing."

Eventually, after months of fruitless treatments for lung ailments like bronchitis, she was diagnosed with melanoma — a very serious skin cancer. It had already spread to her lungs, and the prognosis was grim. She had about a 50-50 chance of surviving the next six months.

"Yeah, that was the turning point of life, right there," she says.

More than 260,000 Filipino fighters served under the American flag during World War II. Decades after they fought alongside U.S. troops in the Philippines, many were allowed to move to the U.S. and become citizens. But they had to leave their grown children behind. Now, those families could finally be reunited in the U.S.

The Supreme Court has ruled for the first time that judges must recuse themselves from reviewing cases in which they had a prior significant role.

By a vote of 5-3, the justices ruled that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a defendant a fair hearing in a death penalty case because the chief justice refused to disqualify himself, even though he had been the district attorney overseeing the case decades earlier.

Philadelphia City Council Set To Pass Soda Tax

Jun 9, 2016

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a startling admission Thursday, saying he bowed to pressure over a report that blasted Saudi Arabia for child casualties that have resulted from its bombing campaign in Yemen.

Ban called it one of the most difficult choices he had to face. The U.N. report on children in armed conflict worldwide describes, in Ban's words, "the horrors no child should have to face."

The woman leading the federal government's effort to block a North Carolina law that limits the rights of transgender people knows what it's like to feel like an outsider.

Vanita Gupta, 41, is the child of immigrants who left India in search of better economic opportunity. That journey took her as a small child from a McDonald's in London where her family fled racial insults and french fries thrown by bigoted skinheads all the way to the Ivy League.

California Raises Smoking Age To 21

Jun 9, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Women, as a bloc, are loyal Democratic voters. But under that giant gender umbrella, there's a lot of nuance.

White women traditionally support the Republican nominee for president. And this is particularly true of white, suburban, married women.

In fact, President Obama lost white women by 14 points (56 percent to 42 percent) in the 2012 election, according to exit poll analysis.

Shrinking that gap is key to Hillary Clinton's plan to win the White House, particularly to offset any potentially low Democratic turnout among young voters.

The Supreme Court handed down several decisions today, though not in any of the three most prominent cases still pending this term. The three outstanding cases are all out of Texas: on abortion, affirmative action, and immigration.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the Supreme Court for Slate, about today’s decisions and what’s left at the court this term.

Guest

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Women who want an abortion in deeply conservative Texas have slightly more choice these days than they had a few months ago. In March, the Food and Drug Administration simplified rules on abortion medication, allowing patients to take the standard regimen of abortion drugs later in a pregnancy.

Just days after the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last year, the pews at Emanuel AME were filled for Sunday service. A black cloth was draped over the chair where Emanuel's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, should have been sitting.

Holding worship in the church sanctuary — while its basement was still a fresh crime scene — served as a way for the congregation to move forward while acknowledging the deaths of nine of its own.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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